CDPR Dev: ‘I Have the Impression Some People Preferred Us to Be Bad for Their Ideological Narrative’

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CD Projekt RED (CDPR from now on) recently had a bit of a controversy on its hands when it was confirmed that the company's developers had been put on a mandatory crunch mode until the release of Cyberpunk 2077. Concretely, this means they'll work an extra day on the weekend, though they will be paid for it; however, CDPR leads had previously promised to try and reduce crunch and were criticized for failing to live up to this.

Fellow Polish developer Adrian Chmielarz, founder of People Can Fly as well as his current studio The Astronauts, wrote a lengthy Facebook post this Sunday to opine that crunch isn't always cynical and the whole situation is a lot less black and white than some would like to believe.

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Łukasz Szczepankowski, Lead Technical Designer at CDPR, quickly responded to the post to say that indeed, managers of game studios are not the proverbial capitalist exploiters.

I can only confirm what Adrian Chmielarz wrote. Even if it comes to the situations he describes, my experience shows that game developers have relative solidarity in this respect from top to bottom, regardless of the position taken. I must disappoint you. Game development managers are not the proverbial capitalists - exploiters who count money while smoking a cigar and from time to time glance at the oppressed developers (however picturesque this vision sounds).

When CDPR Studio Head Adam Badowski addressed the topic, he remarked how the company will once again share 10% of its yearly profits with the development team. When a user seemed ironically skeptical of this claim in his Facebook reply to the aforementioned post, Szczepankowski retorted that this practice has been going on for a long time, and wondered whether some people just enjoy the image of CDPR as one of the 'bad guys'.

I wonder what makes funny in your statement. CDPR shares profits for a long time, on time, and with no excuses. Maybe it was laughter through tears 😛 Seriously, I have the impression that some people preferred us to be bad just to have a foundation for their ideological narrative.

The crunch issue is likely to remain prevalent in the games industry in the near future, but with AI-based technologies slowly getting a foothold in games development, there's a chance that workers will enjoy more comfortable conditions. We certainly hope so.

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